Tag Archive | Architecture

Living and Sustainability: An Environmental Critique of Design and Building Practices, Locally and Globally 9-10 Feb 2017 London

Place: London South Bank University, UK

Conference Dates: 09 – 10 February 2017

 Organised by London South  Bank University and AMPS (Architecture, Media, Politics, Society)

Estimates of the building industry’s contribution to world carbon emissions reach as high as 30% worldwide – with figures on energy consumption in the region of 40%. Given the scale of the industry’s contribution to these figures it is obvious that we cannot ensure a sustainable planet without addressing the practices, materials and legacy of our building industries, our cites and our buildings.

However, key to a sustainable future are also related social questions. The sustainability of communities is one of the most basic components of the quality of life and opportunity.  Badly planned developments can not only lead to the destruction of habitats, they bring unaffordable housing, displaced communities and negative effects on physical health.

Hosted in London, this conference is concerned with the broad range of issues that affect the cities of advanced economies, the metropoles of new economic powerhouses, and the conurbations of the developing world.

Keynote Speaker announced:

Paul Allen. Project Coordinator of Zero Carbon Britain at CAT (Centre for Alternative Technology).

Three associated Publications delegates can publish in:

Academic Journal: Architecture_MPS; UCL Books Series: Housing – Critical Futures; Libri Book Series – Housing the Future

International outlook:

Delegates from multiple continents: Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, North and South America

 Abstract Deadline: 30th October 2016. (Extendable to 30th November)


Full call and submissions: http://architecturemps.com/london-2017/

Host University Event Site: http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/conferences/living-sustainability-built-environment


This major international, interdisciplinary event brings together scholars and professionals from various fields and countries to share expertise on issues of environmental and social sustainability. Papers delivered at this London event can be included in one of several book and journal publications.


Contributions are welcome in one of three categories:

  1. Housing; 2. Commercial Buildings; 3. Urban Design and Cities

Within this context the variety of themes it suggests include (but are not limited to):

Sustainable construction; Eco-retrofitting; Resilience; Adapting to climate change; Building sustainability assessment tools; Construction Engineering; Eco-materials and technologies; Life cycle analysis etc.

This event has been developed with London South Bank University to sit within a series of AMPS projects including its international series of events and publications on housing called Housing-Critical Futures.

 “The Science of Light” Sarah Hall – Grass Valley Elementary School, Camus, WA, USA 


Overview                   The “Science of Light” installation in the main stairwell of the school merges the ancient art of stained glass with cutting edge technology to produce a transformative window wall.  It gathers energy from sunlight in a visible and interactive way – as solar energy is gathered a glass spiral located in the stairwell is illuminated.

Goals                  In an elementary school specifically designed with various green features the intention in the window wall was to demonstrate renewable energy in an imaginative and beautiful context. By creating a positive school environment we felt this communicated a message of hope.  The artwork was designed to delight, to teach, and to inspire. Delight coming from the transformation of sunlight into patterns and colors throughout the stairwell – and visible energy showcased in the LED lighting fixture.  Inspiration and the teaching is accomplished through the innovative use of the solar cells embedded into the windows – offering an ongoing lesson in science, ecology, and the positive use of technology.

Process               The project was initiated by DOWA Portland architects Barry Deister and Keith Johnson who were designing a public elementary school which showcased green technologies.  There was a roof garden, windmills, a community garden and they wanted a highly visible “teaching” project regarding solar. An international collaboration between myself (the artist), the school board, a community group, the architects, a solar engineer and a German glass fabricator brought this project into reality.  After preliminary meetings with all of the above I began design work to encompass the main stairwell of the building.  Embedded in two panels are arrays of photovoltaic cells (thin silicon and metal squares that convert light into electricity).  The energy is taken directly from the solar cells by the highly visible orange cord to a LED lighting fixture I designed for the stairwell. When the sun is shining the light is on.  Christof Erban, an electrical and solar engineer, determined the design of the array.  Once the design was finalized, I collaborated with Glasmalerei Peters GmbH in Germany to fabricate the painted and laminated art glass panels.

Additional        In addition to the solar cells I used a grid pattern of laminated dichroic glass to enhance reflectivity and colour projection in the stairwell.  This creates an ever-changing flood of colour in the main stairwell throughout the day and in every season.  Under the main landing a sitting area was made for children, parents and staff to enjoy the transformative colour and light.

Web:   www.sarahhallstudio.com

Wiki:   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Hall_(glass_artist)

01_Sarah Hall_solar art glass_Grass Valley Elementary School_exterior_photo credit Sarah Hall Studio

Future Works Changes Everything

Future Works

We are Sheffield School of Architecture, MArch Studio Future Works 2015-2016, looking at energy, industry and manufacturing. Over the next six months we will be designing, both collectively and individually for the future of this region. This initial stage of our project has taken our team to several existing factory precedents and allowed us to observe a variety of industrial processes. The studio’s main driver is to explore the typology of ‘Future Factories’ with a particular focus on energy.


The pie charts on the right indicate the current energy situation in the UK.

The majority of energy is currently provided by non-renewable sources. 30% is sourced from coal and 30% from gas. A further 19% is produced from nuclear energy power plants with a further 4 additional plants planned for completion in the near future. At present 19% is supplied by renewable sources.

By 2050 we would love to see…

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